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  • Writer's pictureJonda Beattie

Gain Control of Clothes Clutter

It’s not unusual for me to go into homes and find a lot of clothes “clutter.” By this, I mean clothes that are in heaps on the floor, overflowing in laundry baskets, or stacked on any available surface in the bedroom or laundry. This is often not only clothes waiting to be washed but also clothes that have been washed.

Let’s look first at the clean clothes clutter. Often the clean clothes are left in stacks because it is difficult to actually put the clothes away. The drawers are already crammed. The closet is overflowing. Basically, what is probably happening is having too much clothing. Most of us who live in America have too much “stuff” and this includes clothing. We tend to buy things we like (often in multiple colors) or because they were “on sale.” We don’t really plan how the new item will fit with what we already have or what it will replace.

So, the answer to this problem is to clear out the closet and drawers. Most of what is in there has not been worn for a long time. Keep only what fits, is in good shape, and makes you feel good when you wear it. Purge your wardrobe so that everything you own can easily fit into a dresser or closet (this includes the items that are currently in the dirty clothes pile).

Now, let’s look at the dirty clothes piles. Again, I suggest this may also be due to an abundance of clothing. If you have 15 pair of work pants, you can go a pretty long time without having to do laundry. Another way of handling the dirty clothes piles is to have laundry hampers (without lids) placed everywhere dirty laundry accumulates. This would probably be in each bedroom and perhaps the bathrooms. When the laundry hampers approach “full” do the laundry. Only bring to the laundry room the clothes you intend to clean that day. Leave the rest in the hampers where they normally live. When you finish a cycle of laundry, plan to put them away the same day.

Sometimes there is also a third category. This is clothes you have worn but are not ready to wash. Hang these clothes back up. This will keep them dry and prevent that musty odor. If you don’t want to hang the already worn clothes, designate a place on a shelf in your closet to hold them until you feel they are ready for washing.

Once you have cleared the piles from the floor, you will feel so much lighter. You have a clean space and can feel great that others are benefiting from your donations. Reward yourself – just don’t do it by buying new clothes.

Jonda S. Beattie Professional Organizer

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